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Mudcrab Curry

Sri Lankan Mud Crab Curry

INGREDIENTS

2 live mud crabs, about 1.2kg (2lb 12 oz) each

400 ml (14 fl oz) coconut milk

1 ball of tamarind golf ball size

1 tablespoon Jaffna curry powder

1 table spoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons cumin seeds,

½ cup fresh grated coconut

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

50 g (1 ¾ oz) ghee

1 Spanish onion sliced

1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked

3 small green chillies, finely chopped

½ litre water

1 sprig of drumstick leaves

Juice of ½ limes

PROCEDURE

Put the crabs in the freezer for 1 hour to immobilise them. Pull off the top shells, pull out the spongy grey gills and remove the guts. Chop the crab into 6 pieces, then crack the large claws but leave them attached.

Roast the cumin seeds, coconut and pepper till the coconut is golden brown. Grind to a smooth past and put aside

Heat the ghee in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat, add the mustard seeds till they start to pop, then add the fennel seeds till they brown, add onions, curry leaves, chillies and cook for a few minutes or until the onions are golden

Add the curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric mix in and add the crab and cook for another 3 minutes, at this stage you need to stir it a lot so the spices don’t burn.

Then add the coconut mixture, stir and add the water. If the curry is too dry add more water.

Cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until crab is just cooked through and sauce has thickened. Stir in the drumstick leaves, lime juice and season to taste with salt.